My family and I have recently been thinking of ways we can help the environment as well as our local community in Kingston-upon-Thames. At ten and six, Moozles and Dubz are realising that we need to take an active part in taking care of our surroundings. Besides reducing our plastic consumption and recycling, we have started picking up litter as we walk around and when we're on the school run. So, when we were invited to take part in a McDonald's Love Where You Live campaign, we were thrilled.
There are seven bloggers, throughout the UK, who are involved with this campaign. There was a vote, where members of the public could choose which part of the seven regions would be cleaned up by the bloggers and McDonald's volunteers. In Kingston, Richmond Park was chosen. Regular readers will know that I visit the park at least once a week for a walk. But this would be the first time that I would be picking up litter in one of my favourite places.
We arrived at Richmond Park on Sunday, 7th October, ready for action, and met up with the team from McDonald's. I hadn't realised that they regularly go for litter-picking walks. So, they were already equipped with litter-pickers and reflective vests. In fact, on their last major session in July, they picked up an impressive 30 bags of litter by the river.
I was a bit worried that Moozles and Dubz would be tired of the walking. But I was wrong. Even at six, Dubz managed walking for about five miles without any complaint. He really enjoyed picking up the litter. Last week, he was invited to be a part of the Green Team at his school (they pick up litter around school). The headteacher picked one child from each class, so Dubz felt quite proud to be one of the chosen few. And he was really happy to be helping to clean our local park.
We spent two hours walking around Richmond Park and managed about eight bags of litter. It had been raining quite badly the past two days, so we figured that there hadn't been many people at the park that weekend. But it wasn't about how many bags in total. It was more about working together, in our community. Making the park a nicer place to visit.
McDonald's is committed to tackling litter in communities and is a founding partner of Keep Britain Tidy's 'Love Where You Live' campaign. Since the campaign started in 2011, 2,600 events have taken place with around 80,000 volunteers involved.
I'd like to encourage everyone to do more to tackle litter in their community. You don't even need to join a big group. Grab a bag and pick up litter the next time you are shopping on your high street, or the next time you go for a walk in the park. If we all help a little, we can keep our local areas looking clean and litter-free.